As sales activity in Central Oregon during the fourth quarter of 2016 indicates, the area continues to feel the effects of still-increasing sales prices and extremely low inventory: Although much of Central Oregon saw a double-digit increase in the number of sales during the fourth quarter of 2015, the pace of sales for fourth-quarter 2016 slowed to single digits in many markets. In some segments, the numbers even decreased. (The region’s arctic snow blast, which lasted throughout December, didn’t help.)

(See several numbers-at-a-glance charts below that detail aspects of the Bend, Sisters and Redmond markets.)

Based on statistics recently released by the Multiple Listing Service for Central Oregon, Bend saw just a 3 percent increase in the number of sales of Single Family Residential (SFR) properties (up from 2,450 to 2,533 sales). Redmond saw a 7 percent increase (from 899 to 965 sales), and Sunriver saw an increase of just 4 percent (from 201 to 210 sales).

Meanwhile, the number of Residential With Acreage (RW) sales in Bend decreased by 3 percent (from 328 to 320 sales), while sales of RW properties in Redmond were down 4 percent (from 112 to 108 sales), and RW sales in Sisters were down a noteworthy 14 percent (from 72 to 63 sales). The largest decrease, however, was seen among RW properties in Three Rivers South: Sales there were down 47 percent (from 49 to 26).
A few markets bucked that trend: The number of SFR sales in Three Rivers South increased by an impressive 20 percent (up from 110 to 138 sales). Similarly, SFR sales in Sisters increased by 13 percent (up from 135 to 155), and the number of SFR sales in La Pine was up 11 percent (from 75 to 84 sales).

Not surprisingly, many of the largest increases in sales volume were among the area’s other housing options. The number of sales of townhomes/condos in Redmond increased by a sizable 38 percent (up from 63 to 102 sales) — no doubt, driven by several very active new-construction townhome projects — while sales of Redmond’s multi-family units was up 33 percent (from 26 to 39 sales). The number of sales of multi-family units in Bend increased by 18 percent (from 65 to 79), and the number of sales of sales among Bend’s townhomes/condos was up 10 percent (255 to 282).

However, with few options to offer its potential buyers, Sisters saw a 35 percent decrease in the number of sales of townhomes/condos down from 32 to 17 sales).

Then There’s the Sales Price
Price continues to be a concern for would-be Central Oregon buyers, as most segments in the area continue to see steady year-on-year increases. The average price of SFR properties in Bend increased 8 percent since fourth-quarter 2015 (from $385,657 to $421,405), while Bend’s RW properties increased 15 percent (from $534,410 to $629,040).

Many other segments also saw double-digit increases: The average price of SFR properties in Redmond increased 11 percent (from $244,904 to $275,938), and the average price of Redmond’s RW properties increased 15 percent (from $424,422 to $497,907). Also, the average price of SFR properties in Sisters increased 10 percent (up from $376,894 to $420,843), and the average price of Sisters’ RW properties increased 13 percent (from $559,209 to $640,750). But the biggest increase in price came among La Pine’s RW properties, which saw a 25 percent spike: an average of $212,699, compared to $282,261).

By the Numbers
For those who want to study the market by the numbers, the charts below detail the past five years’ activity of Bend, Sisters and Redmond (my primary coverage areas). I often represent buyers purchasing rural acreage — especially horse properties — so I regularly track both Single Family Residential (SFR) trends and Residential with Acreage (RW) trends.
In the charts, I focused on three of the main categories that reflect the state of the market: (1.) total number of homes sold; (2) Average sales amount; and (3.) Days on market. Checking out these charts will give you a quick overview of what’s been happening in the market.

4th Quarter Real Estate Market Statistics for Central Oregon
*All listing information provided here is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. The Multiple Listing Service of Central Oregon (MLSCO) does not verify the information provided and disclaims any responsibility or liability arising from any inaccuracy or inadequacy of said information or for typographical errors by MLSCO, or for any delay caused in dissemination of such information.

About the Author
Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and Redmond.